The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.28.20
Taped from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Holy cow it’s DVDs! Yeah I can just watch the PPVs on demand via Fite, but I’m still putting those on the Xmas wish list.
Wardlow has words with Dasha, as MJF lets us know that if Wardlow wins the tournament, then MJF wins by proxy because Wardlow is his property. This brings out Sammy Guevara (“Oh no, the guy who looks like he sells Adderall to middle schoolers is upset!”) but he’s not doing anything about his anger with MJF just yet.
World title eliminator tournament, semi-finals: Wardlow v. Hangman Page
This week, Page is “Emotionally unavailable” according to his graphic. OK, I laughed hard at that one. Wardlow attacks and throws Hangman around, then hits him with a corner clothesline, but Page sends him to the floor and follows with a pescado. They fight on the floor and Wardlow gives him an impressive spear through the railing, but Page manages to beat the count and Wardlow gets two. Wardlow tosses him with a suplex. Page goes to the top, but Wardlow counters with a choke attempt, so Page gets a hanging armbar over the ropes until the ref forces the break. Wardlow suplexes him back in and goes up with a swanton, but that misses and they slug it out. Page takes him to the floor with a Cactus clothesline and then follows with the moonsault, and the shooting star gets one. Buckshot lariat is ducked and Wardlow gets his own clothesline for two. Wardlow hits the F10 and Hangman wisely rolls to the floor while selling it. Back in, Wardlow tries to bring him off the top with a death valley driver, but Page slips out of that and gets a top rope uranage instead. Buckshot lariat puts Wardlow to one knee, so he goes again and that finishes at 9:45. Wardlow’s been doing a good job of hanging with the big guns lately and this was a fun hoss fight. **3/4
Jon Moxley isn’t gonna be defending the AEW World title at Full Gear, he’ll be WEAPONIZING it.
Eddie Kingston v. Matt Sydal
They trade wristlocks and Eddie takes him down, but Sydal chops him in the corner and takes him down with an armbar. Rollup gets two and Sydal hits a corner dropkick for two. Kingston catches him with a slam and drops an elbow and we take a break. Back with Eddie throwing chops, but Sydal kicks him down for two. Kingston goes up and Sydal get an amazing rana from the mat and then goes up with a meteora for two. Sydal rolls him up for two, but walks into a knee and Eddie puts him down with the spinning backfist. And then Kingston finishes him off with the bully choke at 7:17. This was kind of a weird style clash, but I’m glad they’re giving Kingston a big win leading up to the title match. **1/4
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks sit down with Excalibur while FTR is on the other screen. Excalibur: “Matt and Nick, I’ve known you guys for a number of years…” FTR: “Yeah we know, that’s why you have a job.” SALTY. Matt does a promo about he’s been missing something lately, and FTR gets tired of waiting to talk and storms off. So after they’re gone, Matt announces that if they don’t win the tag team titles, they’ll never challenge for them again.
Inner Circle Town Hall Meeting! Hosted by Tony and Dasha!
So MJF and Jericho answer questions from the audience. First up: Luchasaurus, who reminds us that he has a Masters degree, and asks how MJF will help business for the Inner Circle. So of course he has a chart ready, showing that post-MJF, revenues will shoot upwards. Next question comes from Dr. Britt Baker and a starstruck Rebel, who thinks that Jericho has a great smile. But what about MJF’s history of betraying friends? Well, Jericho points out that he’s not a dipshit like Cody, so it won’t happen, because he’ll kick MJF’s teeth down his throat if he tries. Peter Avalon: “Can I join the Inner Circle?” That’s a no. “Mr. Eric B.” has a three-pronged question. What can MJF do for the Inner Circle? FRIENDSHIP! And what can the Inner Circle do for him? He might not be the best team player, but he can learn how to be. Bischoff points out that Jericho is a prima donna (“He’s calling me names, Tony!”) and what’s the guarantee that MJF and Jericho don’t just kill each other? This finally puts MJF over the edge and he demands to know what exactly he needs to do to get into the Inner Circle. And the answer? Beat Chris Jericho at Full Gear. Ortiz and Sammy are still not convinced and they’re gonna face MJF and Wardlow next week, although Santana is “still kind of in the middle” and seemingly loves his jacket. Interesting that they have different shades of opinion within the stable.
Meanwhile, Team Taz still hasn’t given up on recruiting Will Hobbs yet.
Lumberjack match, TNT title: Cody Rhodes v. Orange Cassidy
Orange goes for the punch but gets countered and they’re at a stalemate. Orange takes him down with a headlock, but Cody rolls him over for two and then whips him into the corner. Uno trips him up, however, and Cassidy gets a backslide for two. Cody gets the front suplex and stops for some pushups, but gets two. Orange gets his own suplex and Cody bails to the floor, but Orange teases a dive and then hugs the Best Friends instead. Cody slugs him off the apron and Orange gently lands in the arms of the Friends, who guide him back in. So then Cody tries the same trick and they just drop him. Back in, Orange gets a flying bodypress, but Cody tries the figure-four and Orange kicks him to the floor to break. Back in, Orange gets the DDT for two. And they fight to the floor as we take a break. Back with all the lumberjacks slugging it out, but they stop to catch both guys on a superplex to the floor. Back in, that gets two for Cody. Cody Cutter gets two. Orange fights back with the vicious overhand chops, but Cody puts him down with a clothesline. Orange fights back with the stunner and goes up with the DDT, and the Air Raid Crash gets two. But then the Dark Order runs in and takes out Orange, and Cody hits the Crossroads to finish at 12:00. I really don’t get why they’re beating Orange all the time like this. Match was kind of messy and underwhelming and this whole series just ended up being kind of a waste of time. **1/4
Meanwhile, Miro and Sabian give the Best Friends a Halloween present, in the form of a beating in the dressing room.
NWA Women’s title: Serena Deeb v. Leyla Hirsch
So apparently Thunder Rosa is off to NXT as a referee, although I’m still not clear on the exact relationship with AEW and the NWA here. Hirsh is built like a female Tazz and wears “shooter boots”. Well that’s definitely a different type of character for this division. I bet Robert Crumb would be into it. Now, I’m trying to get a handle on how the hell they pulled off getting Deeb, with the NWA Women’s title, onto a show that was taped before the title change was happening. Did they shoot this match at the time of the Dynamite taping and just had Deeb with the belt because they knew she was winning? Was the NWA weekly PPV taped before Dynamite and so the title change had already happened? Did they re-shoot this match in particular after the title change, and put the guy in the banana costume at ringside to make it authentic? Is it time travel? I bet it’s time travel. Hirsch takes Serena down and rides her for a bit, but Deeb reverses to a crucifix for two. Hirsch clotheslines her down for two, but misses a charge and Deeb takes her down. But then Hirsch kicks from the mat and pulls Deeb into a cross armbreaker, and then lets her out and runs the arm into the corner as we take a break. Back with Hirsch slugging Deeb down and hitting a german suplex, but she goes up and misses a moonsault. Deeb hits her with a neckbreaker combo and then wraps her up in a Tequila Sunrise for the submission at 8:25. Man, this was INTERESTING. This was totally unlike anything they’re had for a while as a women’s match. ***
Meanwhile, Hikaru Shida will face Nyla Rose for the AEW title at Full Gear. Hopefully they can move past Nyla and get the title onto Britt Baker soon.
Shawn Spears v. VSK
Spears hits him with the death valley driver immediately and pins him at 0:25. And then some guy in a bull costume throws candy at him from ringside, so he hauls the guy into the ring and preps the glove, only for the Bull to reveal that he’s Scorpio Sky, and deliver a TKO.
Next week: Chris Jericho on commentary! Ortiz & Sammy v. MJF & Wardlow! Miro v. Trent! Shawn Spears v. Scorpio Sky! Cody & The Gunn Club v. The Dark Order! Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston face to face!
World title eliminator tournament, semi-finals: Kenny Omega v. Penta El Zero Miedo
Kenny’s entrance continues to get more overblown by the week, with the topper being “He once had a friend from high school who now resides in NORTH CAROLINA”, carrying on the joke from last week to boot. Penta is of course subbing for his brother after Fenix was pretty clearly concussed in the first round. Kenny grabs a headlock and puts Penta down, and then takes off his shirt dramatically to reveal the AAA Mega Championship to rub some salt in the wounds. So Kenny offers a chop battle and lays the first one in, and Penta happily responds. But then the glove comes off and Kenny intercepts it for a GLOVE SLAP!
Penta charges and hits boot, but fires back with an overhead chop and blasts the leg with some kicks. Backstabber out of the corner and Kenny bails, so Penta hits him with a tope as we take a break. We return with Kenny hitting the Terminator dive, but then Penta just kicks him in the head on the way back into the ring. Penta hits him with another dive and back in for a pump kick, followed by a sling blade for two. He goes up and Kenny pops up, but Penta kicks out the leg and then hits him with a diving stomp off the top for two. Kenny hits the snapdragon times two, but Penta blocks a third one and hits him with chops. So Kenny knees him in the face and powerbombs him, then follows with the V-Trigger for two. Kenny hits another one, but Penta escapes the One Winged Angel and comes back with a leg lariat. Kenny blasts him with another V-Trigger in the corner and puts him on the top rope for the dragon superplex, but Penta blocks that as well. So they fight on the top and Penta headbutts him down to the ramp and then follows with the destroyer off the top and onto the ramp. Back in for the package piledriver, but that only gets two. Penta tries a german suplex, but Kenny reverses to an armdrag, so Penta puts him down with an enzuigiri. But then Kenny catches him with the V-Trigger off the ropes and it’s another try at the Angel, which Penta reverses to the arm snap. He tries to finish him off with a pumphandle, but Kenny slugs out of it, so Penta superkicks him. But then he springboards and Kenny nails him in mid-air and finishes him off with the One Winged Angel at 17:26. So it’s Hangman v. Omega at Full Gear for the tournament win. Which is exactly what everyone was wanting and expecting. ****1/2
Well this week certainly had its flaws, but that main event was out of this world and elevated the whole show. Plus Full Gear is looking like a hell of a show.